Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Night Specials: Sandworms

Ayá (Giant Sandworm)

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Move: 120'
Armor Class: 0
Hit Dice: 36
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Morale: 12

The giant sandworms of the desert world Canopus III, a distant Terran colony at the fringes of Hokun space, are considered one of the most dangerous creatures in the galaxy. Thousands of these huge cannibalistic segmented worms tunnel beneath the planet’s desert sands. They average 250-300 feet in length, range from reddish brown to pale tan in color, and are covered with fine cilia. The creature possesses a huge soft-fringed frontal mouth circled by a ring of tiny black eyes.

Due to the great size of the giant worm, it is capable of over-running and crushing smaller creatures, vehicles, and equipment (save vs. Death to avoid being crushed if in the path of a moving worm, a successful save still results in 2d6 damage ). Its mouth is its only weapon. The Ayá may attack any and all targets near its mouth. It will swallow opponents on any attack more than 2 over the minimum necessary to hit. In six turns the swallowed creature(s) will be dead, in twelve turns any victim(s) will be digested and unrecoverable. An Ayá is unintelligent and will always attack targets in its path.

It has been reported that the desert dwelling nomadic people of Canopus III worship these creatures and have learned to summon, mount, and ride them.

Aqáa (Lesser Sandworm)

No. Enc.: 1-2
Alignment: Neutral
Move: 60’/60'/90’
Armor Class: 4/3/2
Hit Dice: 6/12/18
Attacks: 1/2/4
Damage: Special
Morale: 12

The Aqáa, the lesser sandworms of Canopus III, are closely related to the Ayá. They range from 20 feet to 60 feet in length. Unlike the the Ayá, the Aqáa are sometimes encountered within ancient ruins beneath the surface of the planet. The stats for the creature represent small, medium, and large specimens. When a lesser sand worm is encountered there is a 20% chance that it will be small, a 40% chance that it will be medium sized, and a a 40% chance that it will be large.

Like its larger cousin the Ayá , the Aqáa are capable of over-running and crushing smaller creatures, vehicles, and equipment in the path of the creature (save vs. Death to avoid 2d6/3d6/4d6 crushing damage for small, medium, and large sandworms, respectively). The Aqáa may attack one, two, or four targets (dependent upon its size) that are in proximity to its mouth. It will swallow opponents on any attack more than 2 over the minimum necessary to hit. In six turns the swallowed creature(s) will be dead, in twelve turns any victim(s) will be digested and unrecoverable.

As the horny hide of the lesser worm is not as thick as that of the giant sandworm, a swallowed victim has chance (30% each round) of cutting herself free. A victim can also be cut free by any companions that are able to attempt this (15% each round) or upon the death of the creature.


The above image is derived from a painting of the Mongolian Death Worm by Pieter Dirkx. The source image and the image above are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic license.

5 comments:

  1. I understand these giant worms can sense vibrations through the sand; even the footsteps of a single humanoid is enough to draw the attention of one.

    If you walk without rhythm, it won't atract the worm ...

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  2. But if you walk without rhythm, you'll never learn.

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  3. There are also rumors that the Ayá and Aqáa may be mysteriously associated with a very rare and powerful awareness spectrum narcotic drug that may be obtained on that distant world and that the leader of the nomadic desert dwellers is known as the Worm Prince...

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  4. One would need a disintegrator or powerful explosives to breach the hide of a giant worm, otherwise, in order to rescue a swallowed companion one would need to kill the creature, enter its maw, and find the poor sod before succumbing to the digestive enzymes. Look out for the weird parasitic lifeforms that live inside the large worms...

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